MOCA LA director Philippe Verne recommends three shows in Los Angeles [posted 2/27/2018]

“I love it when I go to an exhibition and see art I don’t know and maybe don’t even understand.”
Image: Aria Dean, Two Cotton Bales Bound Together At 250lbs Each, 2018, raw cotton, ratchet e-strap system, 53 x 44 x 22 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Ghebaly Gallery. Photo: Brica Wilcox.

EDITORS' PICKS

“Katya Tepper: Hysteric Signs”

through December 15, 2018

Padded with foam and felt, encrusted with eggshells, licked with scraps of colorful latex, studded with bricks, and bristling with toilet plungers, Atlanta-based artist Katya Tepper’s shaped wall reliefs have the graphic punch of billboards, the dynamism of Elizabeth Murray’s painting, and the material inventiveness of Thornton Dial’s assemblages. Simultaneously evoking flayed bodies and strip mall signage, they pulse with exuberant, stubborn, life.

Image: Katya Tepper, Hysteric Sign (Ribbed Tomato ’n Grapes), 2018, industrial felt, caulk, epoxy, latex rubber, silicon, cloth and dyed cloth, wine corks, plastic and wooden thread spools, thread, quilting pins, plastic bottles, foam, wood, hardware,and acrylic paint, 104 x 133 x 11 inches. Photo: Marc Tatti. Courtesy of the artist and White Columns, New York.

“Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future”

through January 27, 2019

In 1908, the famed mystic Rudolf Steiner advised Swedish visionary artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) not to show her works for fifty years; in fact, her pioneering abstractions—predating the nonobjective work of Kandinsky, Malevich, and Mondrian—were not publicly exhibited until 1986. This exhibition presents 160 works in conjunction with recent paintings by American artist R.H. Quaytman.

Image: Hilma af Klint, Group IX/SUW, The Swan, No. 17 (Grupp IX/SUW, Svanen, nr 17), 1915, from the SUW/UW Series (Serie SUW/UW), oil on canvas, 59 1/4 x 59 1/2 inches. Copyright © The Hilma af Klint Foundation, Stockholm. Photo: Albin Dahlström, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

“Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts”

through February 25, 2019 and Museum of Modern Art, New York, through February 18, 2019

“Nauman does not add to my own experience of art so much as cast in an unflattering light, and even plunge into tormenting doubt, the generality of that experience.” So wrote Peter Schjeldahl in Art in America in 1994, responding to a Bruce Nauman survey at the Reina Sofía in Madrid. In videos, sculptures, and installations, Nauman has persistently used linguistic play and spatial manipulation to probe the fears and desires that underlie perception. This retrospective at MoMA PS1 (which debuted at the Schaulager in Münchenstein, Switzerland, in spring 2018), includes over 120 works, tracing the themes and questions that the artist has repeatedly turned to in his half-century career. A concurrent presentation at the Museum of Modern Art features six large-scale installations from the 1970s that heighten one’s sense of embodiment through disorienting effects of illusion and confinement. All in all, the exhibition promises to leave viewers “exalted and beaten up,” as Schjeldahl once felt.

Image: Bruce Nauman, still from Green Horses, 1988, video installation (color, 59:40 min.) with two color video monitors, two DVD players, video projector, and chair, dimensions variable. Purchased jointly by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with funds from the Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, with funds from the Director’s Discretionary Fund and the Painting and Sculpture Committee, 2007. Copyright © 2018 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Ron Amstutz.

“Cameron Rowland: D37”

through March 11, 2019

Cameron Rowland creates installations of existing objects and documents that expose America’s inequities, particularly those deriving from the poisonous legacy of slavery. The artist’s 2016 show at New York’s Artists Space, for example, consisted of examples of commercial goods, including office desks and firefighting suits, made by inmates—a disproportionate number of whom are African American men incarcerated for petty crimes—working for less than minimum wage in state prisons; these were accompanied by a brochure tracing the roots of what has been called the re-enslavement of black Americans. Rowland’s commissioned project for The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles brings together items such as an antebellum tax record; a MOCA donor plaque acknowledging the patronage of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles; and objects seized by police through the process of civil asset forfeiture to examine the racist dimensions of state and market forces’ property “accumulation by dispossession.”

Image: Cameron Rowland, “D37,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2018 (installation view). Courtesy of the artist and ESSEX STREET, New York.

“Tadao Ando”

through December 31, 2018

At seventy-seven,Tadao Ando shows no sign of slowing down. The self-taught Japanese architect recently completed his first condominium in New York, named for its location, 152 Elizabeth Street, and is currently transforming a nineteenth-century Parisian stock 
exchange, the Bourse de Commerce, into an art gallery. Models for this latest project and sixty-nine older buildings, such as the iconic concrete Church of Light (1994) outside Osaka, are on display in the Centre Pompidou’s exhibition, along with 180 photographs and drawings documenting Ando’s globe-spanning career.

Image: Nobuyoshi Araki, Portrait of Tadao Ando. Copyright © Nobuyoshi Araki. Courtesy of the artist and the Centre Pompidou.

“Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done”

through February 3, 2019

Performing at the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village between 1962 and 1964, the Judson Dance Theater (as it became known midway through that run) helped bring about major developments in Western choreography. Dancer-choreographers such as Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, and Trisha Brown as well as visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers collaborated to produce works that, rejecting virtuosity, incorporated ordinary movements and emphasized process over product. This survey assembles some three hundred Judson-related items, including films, scores, archival materials, and sculptural objects. A performance program accompanies the show.

Image: Peter Moore’s photograph of (from left) Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Schlichter (hidden), Sally Gross, Tony Holder, Deborah Hay, Yvonne Rainer, Alex Hay, Robert Morris (behind), and Lucinda Childs performing Rainer’s We Shall Run, 1963. Performed at Two Evenings of Dances by Yvonne Rainer, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, March 7, 1965. Copyright © Barbara Moore/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

“The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India.”

through January 20, 2019

The debate over postcolonial varieties of modernism—specifically, whether they were merely “late” and derivative or altogether culturally distinct from Western avant-garde models—may well get a boost from this exhibition. Focusing on the Progressive Artists’ Group, formed at the time of India’s independence in 1947 and disbanded in 1956, the show explores the interrelationship between a new secular globalism and the country’s multifarious ethnic and religious heritage. With a range from just before to just after the group’s heyday, the survey includes works—mostly oil paintings—by core members such as M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza, and F.N. Souza as well as noted ancillary figures like Ram Kumar and Mohan Samant.

Image: Krishen Khanna, News of Gandhiji's Death, 1948, oil on canvas, 33 1/2 x 33 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the Asia Society.

“B. Wurtz: This Has No Name”

Through February 3, 2019

This survey provides a comprehensive view of B. Wurtz’s photos, paintings, drawings, and sculptures, which monumentalize humble, everyday materials like food containers, bits of clothing, and scraps of wood and metal. The show includes some of Wurtz’s early hybrid pieces from the 1980s that pair a dramatic photo of a given object with the item itself. Many of his playful, delicately constructed tableaux made up of elements such as plastic and mesh bags, aluminum pans, ribbons, and socks are also featured in the show.

Image: B. Wurtz, Untitled (bread painting #3), 2010, Acrylic on canvas, plastic, thread, 59 x 39 x 1/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

VOICES

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Artist Anna Betbeze on three shows in Los Angeles [posted 10/26/18]

“The works I’m most attracted to, that make the most sense to me at this moment, are by artists who are looking deeply at our broken world and trying to reconfigure it.”

Image: Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Toxic, 2012. Installation with super 16mm film / HD, 13 minutes, and archive. Courtesy of the artists.
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Oluremi C. Onabanjo on three exhibitions in New York [posted 7/23/2018]

“It was thrilling to go into those darkened galleries packed with people sitting on the floor, enrapt.”

Image: Malick Sidibé, Soiree eu famille, 1972/2008, gelatin silver print, 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches image size, 9 1/2 x 7 inches paper size, signed, titled, and dated on front. Courtesy of Jack Shainman, New York.
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MOCA LA director Philippe Verne recommends three shows in Los Angeles [posted 2/27/2018]

“I love it when I go to an exhibition and see art I don’t know and maybe don’t even understand.”

Image: Aria Dean, Two Cotton Bales Bound Together At 250lbs Each, 2018, raw cotton, ratchet e-strap system, 53 x 44 x 22 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Ghebaly Gallery. Photo: Brica Wilcox.
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Hammer chief curator Connie Butler on shows in Los Angeles [Published 2017/12/12]

“The first show I would recommend would be “Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico,” which covers a really important moment in the history of Mexican contemporary art.”

Image: “The first show I would recommend would be “Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico,” which covers a really important moment in the history of Mexican contemporary art.”
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Artist Tala Madani on the shows she’s looking forward to in L.A. [Published 2017/09/19]

“Because of Pacific Standard Time, it’s going to be a really exciting art season in Los Angeles.”

Image: Juan José Gurrola, Señora con pan (Woman with Bread), from the series “Dom Art,” 1962/2014, transfer on canvas, 72 by 70 by 2 inches. Courtesy of House of Gaga.
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